I was catching up with my girl Toni Staton Harris the other day and the subject of friendships came up, more specifically chasing friendship.
I don’t loosely use the word friend. If I use that term to describe our relationship, I take the role very seriously, and it’s my expectation that you do too. As your friend, I believe that just as Proverbs 27:17 says, iron should sharpen iron and one friend should sharpen the other. In other words, the relationship should be mutually beneficially.
There have been a few times recently people I have considered friends haven’t defined the relationship the same way. There have been red flags that the relationship needed to end, but I thought it was a season. It wasn’t. The realization that the friendship was over—or even worse never really was a friendship—hurt.
After talking to Toni, I realized I was chasing friendship. Here are a few signs you might be too:
You are the only one who initiates calling, texting or any other contact. Relationships go two ways. At some point your friend should be reaching out to you. Think back on your last few interactions with her. Who made contact?
Any time you’re together, it’s more obligation than fun. You’ve been girls for years and maybe you’re used to hanging out every Saturday afternoon. Is getting together something to which you’re looking forward, or more often than not, do you find yourself dreading it for whatever reason.
Something major happens in your life and your friend doesn’t reach out to you. You lose your job or get engaged and rather than calling or stopping by to check on or celebrate with you, all you get is a like on Facebook or worse crickets, that’s a problem. Real friends are going to be there to celebrate the ups and downs in your life in a way that means something to you.
She’s never available when you need her. Whether it’s a shoulder to cry on or needing someone to watch your kids at the last minute, at some point your girl should have your back the same way you have hers. I understand life happens and your friend might have responsibilities, but so do you. Friendship can’t just be about things being convenient.
Something just feels…different. There used to be a time you talked for hours, now when you’re together, there’s this awkwardness you can’t really explain. Maybe your interactions just leave you confused as you wonder what’s changed.
You’re not privy to the events of her life. If the only way you know what’s going on with your BFF is through social media or what other people tell you, that’s not friendship. It might be time to face the fact that you don’t know what’s going on in her life because she doesn’t want you to know what’s going on.
Like any good relationship, friendships need to be nourished and nurtured. This is a two-way street. What has happened in your friendship to make you believe you’re chasing it?